Website owner:  James Miller

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Inhibitions --- Modern society's fight against them

   What are inhibitions?  Where do they come from?  Could 
   inhibitions be simply the voice of conscience?  The common idea 
   in modern 20th century western society is that inhibitions are 
   bad (especially inhibitions related to sex).  Everyone is 
   trying to break down and destroy inhibitions.  The whole 
   society is down on them.  Thus we have Playboy, Playgirl and a 
   flood of pornography;  we have nudity and open sex in 95% of 
   the movies coming out of Hollywood;  the psychiatrists are down 
   on them and blame them for every mental malady and 
   maladjustment under the sun;  the public is installing sex 
   education in the schools to stomp them out;  people are running 
   around nude in front of their children so that they won't 
   grow up oppressed by inhibitions;  they let their boys and 
   girls sleep together into their teenage years with the same 
   purpose in mind;  our modern day novelists are down on them and 
   make open sex and a preoccupation with sex the main thrust of 
   their works (they justify all this in the name of "realism");  
   the whole society becomes charmed and excited over mini-skirts 
   (just another thrust against inhibitions);  Madison Avenue is 
   doing its share in the battle with its preoccupation with 
   sensuous, lust-provoking, scantily clothed women as advertising 
   gimmicks;  the modern intellectuals and liberals are down on 
   them in the name of "enlightenment" and "progress", 
   disdainfully regarding them as "Victorian", "Puritan" and "old 
   fashioned".  But what are inhibitions?  The F&W dictionary 
   defines them as "a checking or restraining;  a self-imposed 
   restriction on one's behavior."  Isn't this exactly the 
   function that conscience performs?  Doesn't conscience check 
   and restrain us from doing those things which, down in our 
   heart of hearts, we know is wrong?  We speak of destroying 
   inhibitions but aren't we really just trying to destroy 
   conscience?  Isn't the whole attack really one against our 
   whole sense of moral (sexual) right and wrong?  Isn't it all 
   really just an attempt to legitimize simple immorality (whether 
   it be adultery, fornication or whatever)?  Sex is viewed, 
   first, as just a natural biological urge, a natural appetite, a 
   fact of life, and then the question is posed "Why should one be 
   asked to fight against nature, why should one not be perfectly 
   free to indulge a natural, biological urge?" (and the 
   assumption is that the only reasonable and rational answer is 
   that there is no reason). 

   So our modern society has been (and still is) engaged in a 
   great battle --- to undermine, erode and destroy morality.  And 
   we now have the "Sexual Revolution", the "New Morality" (really 
   just the old immorality), "Situation Ethics", "Moral 
   Relativism", etc..  What happens when one loses his sense of 
   right and wrong?  What does it do to a society when its 
   members, in mass, lose their moral conscience?  How about 
   confusion, frustration, anger and misery for the individual and 
   a wholesale tendency toward family disintegration, divorce, 
   disillusioned and angry children, suicide, huge crops of 
   illegitimate children, alcoholism, drug addiction, violence and 
   crime for the answer? 

   Nov 1976

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